Forbidden: F Stone
Within this world there are many who would destroy our hopes and dreams for a better life and freedom. Within the hush comes the gunfire and sounds of people silenced. Beyond the screams comes the truth behind the slaying of 15 people coming to help others from Habitat of Humanity. Americans with a mission to help those less fortunate. So, who wanted them dead? Terrorized, brutalized, silenced and the hush becomes a silent whisper. When Police Captain Hashim Sharif is enlisted to find out what happened to the others he meets the one person hiding in the right place and not executed Eliza Mackay who becomes his captive. Wishing at first and wondering why she was spared links her up in an unholy alliance with Sharif. The heads of his government wants the entire situation buried along with Eliza. He becomes her jailer, keeper and boss you might say in order to keep the city’s secret and the failure of his force to protect the Americans. When Sharif tries to remember that Allah forbids murder, yet we hear about those that worship Allah killing all the time, Sharif has not choice but to at least appear to be following the orders of the Chief of Police and the Mayor to bury Eliza or his family and him will permanently disappear and pay the ultimate price. It’s not about justice and fairness it’s about restoring the dignity of their government for failing to protect these innocent victims. Learning more about the murders, trying to find forensic evidence, and wonders whom ordered that these 15 American volunteers be slaughtered. As Eliza and Sharif begin to bond and develop a steady rhythm and pattern something changes it all when he learns her real name, about the loss of her family and realizing she might not be trusted either. PTSD is what she suffers from and the people assigned to watch over her hear her scream in her sleep. Hearing the voices of the Mayor and Chief, learning what the others did to her to prove she is nobody special and Sharif coming to her defense we wonder whether he will dispose of her while testing his beliefs. Murder an innocent person for no reason will he?
Things spiral out of control and Sharif immediately goes into action and moves not only Eliza but his family hoping to keep them away from harm. Added in a CIA agent is being brought in to investigate the murders and find out who was behind them and bring them to his brand of justice. He is thinking Sharif is guilty but the true killers have yet to be identified and who were these men driving the truck with the volunteers?
Things take on a different turn when the CIA agent sets his sites on hoping to take down Sharif. But, Sharif is smart and when he learns that Eliza purloined her own cell phone that he confiscated why does he allow her to keep it? She is confined to a small space and knowing that she has PTSD and is still dealing with the fatal car accident of her own family, husband and two children, you can understand why she panics when Sharif places her, for her own good in a small room. Added in he takes chance and calls her boss hoping to leave subtle clues as to wanting him to begin a search to find her.
A meeting reveals to the representative from Habitat for Humanity that the Americans are dead, how will the President of this country and others proceed to find out who was behind the massacre and why take down Eliza in the interim? Thinking they were home free and the CIA was not going to track them down again, think again as agent Hutchinson turns up, turns on the heat and Eliza has the chance to go home but decides to remain with Sharif but why? Thinking that too many have died because of her the author gives us an insight as to how the investigation will proceed, where the bodies of the victims and killers were found but no one knows who was behind it and why?
Just the title alone is expressive as there are so many meanings in this novel of the title Forbidden. As Sharif is forbidden to kill in cold blood, to fall for Eliza, to fail in his mission, not to worship Allah and to stay true to who he is except what secrets is he hiding and what will happen when they investigate? Did he have anything to do with the massacre? Why are they investigating his station and his men?
Chief Ganem and the Mayor Aamir were both involved in the massacre but someone higher called Black Ice and Omega were running the show but their identities have not been revealed.
Sharif still is being threatened and if he reveals what he knows and the plot to the CIA his family will be killed. But, someone close to him that has remained behind the scenes is pulling other strings and his children, his son and daughter are the pawns in this plan. Using his contacts in other departments and with his faithful Sergeant Omar, Sharif hopes to foil whatever is planned next. But, things go deadly, more bodies fall and the end result is more powerful people are killed but who will pay the ultimate price?
Dealing with the Mayor and knowing the Chief is dead and his connection to the hit man that tried to take out Eliza and Sharif, let’s them know that things are hot and then his children are kidnapped.
Confronting the Mayor and letting him know that Khalid and his intent to cause havoc in RIPT. The mayor was a pawn on Khalid and failed to carry out his orders to kill Sharif and now things get more volatile. Captain Khizar has his own agenda and wants to take Eliza out and roughing her up, trying to attack her in anyway possible is his way of letting Sharif know that she is not immune to torture and torment as the author flashes back to how she lost her husband and two children and the reasons why William was not anyone that she might still lose sleep over.
Being locked up so to speak in close quarters and having to keep her emotions in check she and Sharif play their own kind of love/hate game until it might become too hard to resist the chemistry between them. Meeting his children was okay but his parents are set against her will that change it all and will he get rid of her? Each time she has a chance to leave she backs out and when things seem to be settling down and she can leave what happens next will shock readers as she prays to Allah for strength, starts to pray along with Sharif during his daily prayers. Using his power of reasoning and some cunning planning Sharif manages to alert just the right people that might help save them both and his family. But, everything blows up and just when you think things are going to calm down and the killers are identified and hopefully everyone might be brought to justice the author throws a powerful curve letting us know that what you think you see and hear just might not be what really is. The ending lets you know that some live, some die and some might need to watch their backs for a little longer or more. The author relates on the last page: This is the ending or IS IT!
Characters that are sharp, crisp, devious, alert, loyal, disloyal, traitors, cunning and quite clever as Eliza MacKay learns the true meaning of understanding, tolerance, hope, justice, injustice, love, friendship and survival in this outstanding novel between two different worlds where so many rules and customs are spelled out and how dare you go against what is FORBIDDEN.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine
in his cross hairs. Sharif dodges the agent’s traps almost as easily as the hit man on his tail. When Sharif discovers the shocking truth, he loses all hope of survival.
What is worth dying for? Perhaps it’s not bringing a madman to justice. Could it be saving the life of a woman who kick-started his numb heart? On the knife-edge of risk, Sharif plots an act most forbidden and fatal.